AMC Best Picture Showcase

Last Saturday and yesterday a couple friends and I attended AMC movie theater’s Best Picture Showcase. This is an event where the movie theater shows all the nominees for Academy Award for Best Picture. I first attended back when there were only 5 movies. Over the past few years there have been as many as 10. This year there were nine: Amour, Les Miserable, Argo, Django Unchained, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Lining’s Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty.

I’d call this year of the memorable slap. Almost all of these have a scene where a character looking the other in the eye slaps the other. It is like it is a theme for the year.

One of the reasons I like attending this event is the entire slate of movies are overall quality movies. Though, I did enjoy some far more than others.

Amour: Hard to watch as the story of an elderly woman having strokes and falling apart is way too familiar to me. I do have to say the portrayal was pretty accurate.

Les Miserable: I have never seen the play. I think if I had, then I would find it more entertaining. Instead, the constant singing was more annoying.

Argo: One of the two I saw prior. Just as entertaining the second time through. It mixes danger and humor well. Probably should hate it because it took too many liberties with the history, but I don’t? My #1 pick for best picture.

Django Unchained: As to be expected, this was Inglorious Bastards with a different bad part of history and to out do the over the top violence.

Beasts of the Southern Wild: The Life-Sucks-But-We-Will-Overcome nominee, it felt preachy. Most damning were the aurochs. They felt completely off putting.

Life of Pi: The tiger at times looked like Puss In Boots from Shrek. So adorable. Visually amazing through over a dozen scenes. The story was pretty weak and dumbed down.

Lincoln: The second of the two I saw prior. The makeup and casting were amazing. Some strangely supernatural lighting as in one case Robert Lincoln’s face is well lit under his hat so we can see his expression while the Sun is in the background. I happen to enjoy political speeches, but this was even boring to me.

Silver Lining’s Playbook: Love is the best mental health medicine? True love. Not “I want to be in love with her” stalker infatuation.

Zero Dark Thirty: Any movie that upsets Congressmen enough to want hearings is a keeper. Okay, it is not a sequel to the Hurt Locker, but both movies use an emotionless tone. I think it is Biegelow’s point that war’s greatest atrocity is sapping those involved of their emotional humanity. Gun fire and explosions sound more real in this movie than most movies. My #2 pick, I think.

My Oscar Picks

Yesterday I went to the second day of the AMC Best Picture Showcase which shows the Academy Award nominations for Best Picture. The Colonial 18 in Lawrenceville hosted the event. The Saturday prior I also went with a friend. The movies I really liked ranked from best down are:

  1. The King’s Speech
  2. The Social Network
  3. True Grit
  4. Inception

The first three I had already seen and looked forward to seeing again. The last one I probably will watch a second time. The rest were good movies, but I probably would not miss only seeing them only once. The exception is Black Swan. I wish I had never seen it. Of course, I hate psychological thrillers.

Personally, I think ten nominations are too many. Maybe it is just me, but I have trouble remember all ten. Five I can remember. Typically I falter at around the eighth movie and only a cue from someone else helps me remember the others.

Appendage damage appeared to be a theme. Several movies involved arms, fingers, legs getting dismembered or at the least broken. (As Amy said, “Mr. Potatohead does not count.”) Aron and Mattie lose their arms. Mickey has his hand broken by the police. Nina breaks toes and fingers. Laser’s friend breaks his arm in skateboarding off the room.